Teen Driver Safety Tips: Driving Around Big Trucks
Among all the drivers on the road, those who are most likely to be involved in an accident are teenagers.
One factor that contributes to the high rate of teen driving accidents rate is inexperience. Young drivers can reduce their risk of being involved in crashes by understanding how accidents happen and recognizing situations to avoid.
Avoid Blind Spots
One of the easiest ways to reduce the risk of being involved in an accident with a large truck is to stay out of the truck’s blind spots.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the blind spots for large vehicles extend:
A truck driver may decide to change lanes and be unable to see your vehicle if it is hidden in a blind spot. If you need to pass a truck, do so quickly.
Allow Truckers Extra Room
Another mistake that inexperienced drivers make is failing to give trucks enough room. Drivers may try to pass a truck, then cut back in front of the truck too soon.
Don’t Get Caught in a Squeeze Play
Give the truck the room it needs to turn safely, and stay out of the way.
Pass a Large Truck Safely
Every teen driver needs to understand that safely passing a large truck requires slightly different steps than simply passing another car. Young drivers need to ensure that they can see truck driver in the truck’s side view prior to passing so that the trucker can see them.
Teens should know that it is never safe to pass an 18-wheeler in the right lane.
Be Patient When You Are Driving Near a Large Truck
It is important for parents to model safe driving behavior around their teens, and show their teens the importance of being patient on the road. Patience is important when you are driving near a large truck, particularly at a point when it may be difficult to pass safely. Large trucks take a longer than passenger vehicles to gain speed. They also need longer distances to brake safely.
To be clear, trying to save a few extra minutes by driving aggressively may cost you extra time in the long run if you are involved in an accident or get flagged for speeding or other unsafe behavior.
Always Wear Your Seat Belt
As the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) explains, large trucks often are involved in fatal accidents due to their size.
If your teenager is driving, it is important that she or he always wear a seat belt and require any other teen passengers to buckle up, as well.
In addition to the above, use your head and drive responsibly. That means limiting distractions, driving sober, and following traffic laws.
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